Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jonathan Edwards on the Gospel

This is taken from the "Jonathan Edwards Blank Bible - Volume 2". Jonathan Edwards was commenting on Matthew 11:5;

"the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them".

Edwards writes;

"By the "poor" here, seems pretty evidently to be the poor in spirit. In the last effect here mentioned, "the poor are evangelized", the manner of speaking and connection of the words leads us to suppose that there is the like relation and opposition between the benefit and character of the subject of that benefit, as in the foregoing effects mentioned, such as between receiving sight and blindness and being raised up and death.

The word "are evangelized" implies not only being the subject of the preaching of the gospel or the telling the good news, but a being encouraged, refreshed and revived and made joyful and happy by it.

And between such a benefit and a being poor in spirit, of a broken heart, or heart mourning, humbled, being wretched, miserable and undone in his own eyes and despairing in the world and in himself. I say, a being evangelized in the sense mentioned has a like relation to such a qualification of the subject as sight has to blindness, light to darkness, walking to lameness, life to death.

The poor being evangelized is the last effect mentioned, it being that which crowns all, representing the main thing which Jesus came into the world for, the blessed effect that He had respect to in all that He said and did and the great thing of which the other things here mentioned were but types and representations".

It is a vital reminder that the preaching of the Gospel does not come in "word alone". Surely it seems that the Word of God expects a complete life transformation! Have we lost something of the radical transformation that the Gospel brings? I fear it's a definite danger here in the Western world. Even Edwards spoke of the "joy unspeakable" that we should expect from true Gospel impartation.

1 comment:

janelle said...

Completely agree. The church has fallen into some serious nominalism...what has happened is a great question!! Its not enough just to profess Christ...we must live a transformed life!